The 5 Best Gaming Laptops in 2022

What we look for in a gaming laptop

There’s a lot to consider when looking for a new gaming laptop. I spoke to veteran game developer Neil Davidson, who works as a senior software engineer at The Multiplayer Group, for more advice on what to look for. The information below is the result of that conversation.

Processor and graphics

While you certainly want a powerful processor, the graphics processing unit (GPU) is usually more important than the central processing unit (CPU) for gaming. A good GPU is essential for playing the latest high-end games in all their glory.

There are only two options: Nvidia and AMD. Generally, AMD is more affordable, but Nvidia often offers better performance and more features like ray tracing, especially at the higher end.

Think about the games you want to play, the settings you want to play on, and look at the recommended CPU and GPU combinations to achieve this on websites like PC Game Benchmark.

Filter

You’ll be staring at it for hours, so your laptop screen is very important. While 4K resolution is tempting, these screens have a lower refresh rate and make your system work much harder, requiring a high-end GPU to keep up. Combine that with the smaller screen size and it makes more sense for most people to opt for a 1080p display with a high refresh rate of 144Hz or more.

This will give you an image that is still quite sharp but also appears smoother. Remember that you will need hardware capable of delivering higher frame rates to match the refresh rate of the screen. If you don’t play fast-paced games and frame rate isn’t a priority, you might want to consider middle ground and go for a 1440p display with a slightly slower refresh rate.

Battery life

It’s just a fact that gaming laptops generally don’t have great battery life. You’re lucky if you can get just over two hours of demanding gameplay without having to plug in. High power demands combined with a portable design limit battery life.

However, we do see some gaming laptops that have decent battery life for mixed use. So, if you’re also buying a gaming laptop for everyday use, you can reasonably expect it to last a full day for work, web browsing, and


Diffusion

.

Memory and storage

Realistically, 16GB of memory (RAM) is enough for most gamers, and more than that is unnecessary for most. If you’re a heavy multitasker who edits videos or streams while you game, you might want to consider 32GB of RAM. The handy thing about RAM is that it’s often easy to upgrade later.

Storage is trickier because modern games are often huge. While 1TB might seem like a lot, it can fill up at an alarming rate if you play a lot of games and like to rock out. If you’re the type of person who only keeps a few games installed at a time, you can get by with less storage.

We strongly recommend a


Hard disk

(SSD) on a mechanical


Hard disk

because they are much faster and less likely to break. A sometimes more affordable combination of SSD and hard disk drive (HDD) can also work well. Luckily, most gaming laptops these days come standard with an SSD. Much like RAM, you can usually upgrade your gaming laptop’s storage later if you need to.

Keyboard and extras

The feel of a keyboard is important, so give them a try whenever you get the chance. Gaming Laptops

tend to have shallower keyboards to save space, but there are still options for fans of mechanical keyboards.

If you use macros, look for dedicated keys and consider looking for the N-key rollover feature, which ensures that all your keypresses register as you press multiple keys at once. Backlighting can be handy, with options ranging from basic RGB lighting to customizable per-key RGB lighting, but it’s ultimately a subtlety.

When it comes to connectivity and ports, just make sure the gaming laptop you’re considering has all the connections you think you’ll need. Never assume a specific type of port will be included and always check to avoid disappointment. This extends to other peripherals as well, as some gaming laptops today lack an internal webcam.

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